Welcome to a look behind the scenes of the 2018 American Cured Meat Championships. Independent Processor editor-in-chief Sam Gazdziak spoke with many of the judges to get their insights on what it takes to make a best-in-class cured meat product.

This year’s large-diameter luncheon meat category was a varied class and included mortadella, salami, bologna, and even a slicing andouille. Dr. Ryan Cox of the University of Minnesota talks about some of the things that the entrants did right and wrong.